Who replaces the bolts? Alan James has looked into the efforts put in by small groups of climbers around the country to keep our sport crags safe, and has news about how you can contribute to local bolting initiatives, both financially and physically.
I'd have like to have seen a mention of the idiotic practice of top-roping directly through staples. This is wearing out lower-offs far more quickly than necessary and the perpetrators seemingly don't know or don't care about what they are doing. I have had similar experiences to Nic here when raising the issue:
This *really* annoys me - I saw some numpty instructor at the Cuttings the other week toproping the easy routes to death. Yes, they are going to get (even more) polished - but there's no need to knacker the lower offs. Despite a very polite request from me, he refused to use krabs in the top bolts. So, guess what, in another year's time the local crew will have to go out and replace the LO's yet again...
In reply to UKC Articles:
That's a timely article. I thought the suggestion that we give a bit each time we use a very good idea, £5 on beer, £5 to bolt fund, makes perfect sense. You have prompted me to extrapolate from that and give local bolt fund a xmas donation.
This is a good point, which comes up over and over, but there are other options other than replacing the staples. It's a simple process to retro-fit a lower off to a pair of Ecobolts or staples to dramatically prolong the lifespan. The NWBF have done this at Pen Trwyn for example, by fitting maillons and rings.
With £10,000 of Better Bolts Campaign funding available for 2011 it might be a good idea for the Dorset fund to put in a bid to retrofit the more popular routes?
In reply to UKC Articles: Really good article. After nearly 15 years of sport climbing on Portland (Blimey! I'm still rubbish), I have only recently become involved with bolting, and am surprised at the level of time, effort and cash involved.
I feel slightly ashamed that I climbed there so long without giving anything back to the Dorset bolting fund. I quite happily paid £3-5 per session to climb indoors when it rained but never thought to give anything for the pleasure of climbing the bolted outdoor routes.
Imagine if each person climbing on Portland (or elsewhere) at weekends gave just £1 to the local funds. It would at least help towards the upkeep of these 'Outdoor Climbing Walls'.
Anything that publicises these funds and makes them more accessible to people who would like to contribute is a good idea.
As others have rightly said, a superb article. I was really touched by Alan's courtesy in asking if it was OK to go ahead with things, after the original thread. There didn't seem much enthusiasm last time. Hopefully there will be a lot more this time.
In reply to UKC Articles: Thanks for the article. I think it identfies a real problem as well as a few dedicated renegades who are helping to resolving them.
A lot of climbers really don't understand the hard work and time, as well as money, that goes into this. I use to ask for donations at places like Horseshoe Quarry and quite often get the response that the BMC have paid for all the bolts and people don't see why they should contribute to a personal fund - I think I spend about £1500 - £2000 a year on gear and that doesn't include the travelling etc.
Unfortunately I don't have a paypal process on my site, mainly because I haven't got round to it and I don't know how but if people would like to contribute to my bolt/rebolting fund, they can contact me through my e-mail address on this site.
Great article. Gave me a kick to make a donation, and I've reposted a link to facebook to encourage my (climbing) friends to do the same. It's got to be worth everybody who reads it doing something similar to encourage their friends?
In reply to richardh: I went down to the Cuttings to add DBF cows horn belays to the easy routes on the ramp, only to find the belays already had ring-and-chain belays. They were put there by a local outdoor centre...
> Unfortunately I don't have a paypal process on my site, mainly because I haven't got round to it and I don't know how...
Long time, no see! Matters IT quickly reduce my brain to mush but there must be loads of people on here who could guide you through it in a few minutes. I'm sure you'd get more donations. Many people are used to 'click and go' these days. All a bit different from taking your pennies to the corner shop! (Chorus of, "When I were a lad..." Or maybe not.)
Which touches on a larger point. Whether it's re-equipping or crag maintenance (e.g. clean-ups, belay stakes), people can donate money, time or skills (or a combination). For instance, Alan resurrected this with IT skills which I hadn't. And he got the research done. And he had a better format (article). So people may have practical, financial, PR, organisational, IT, etc skills which they can use to give back.
People already do, with clubs, the BMC, etc. If we're going to do a good job of keeping crags in good nick, logistically the skills and time will probably largely come from locals and the money a mixture of locals, vistors and the BMC fund.
This is a great article. I've often wanted to donate, wonder who does all the bolting etc. but didn't know where/how to donate money. I've often heard of people coming around with a tin at Portland but never seen anyone.
As Richard pointed out why is the South West bolt fund not on the website? I'd like to donate to that one too.
I don't know of any organised bolt fund for this area. There doesn't seem to be one with a web presence which is of course essential for this scheme to work.
I also contacted a few people in Scotland but they confirmed that there is nothing organised there.
If something does exist, or get set up, then I'd be happy to add it to the site as long as the area is recognised as a sport climbing area. (ie. the West Penwith Bolt Fund isn't going to get added to any list).
I just clicked on the original 2008 thread (link at the bottom of Alan's article). I don't remember seeing that at the time, perhaps I was away, but anyway, thanks for setting the ball in motion Mick. I've already had a couple of paypal doations for our fund.
Merry Christmas and thanks again to all who have kept the YBF going over the years. The work isn't too arduous when you feel it is being appreciated.
> (In reply to richardh) I went down to the Cuttings to add DBF cows horn belays to the easy routes on the ramp, only to find the belays already had ring-and-chain belays. They were put there by a local outdoor centre...
Is that on the original easy routes? Longy and Neal replaced some when we did the bush clearance work, and I placed ring and chain belays on my new routes there.
It would be great of it was the local centres that did the one or two remaining routes there - hopefully they've had some training beforehand too.
PS - Alan - your article has brought in a decent few donations for the DBF over the last 24 hours - nice one.
> I also contacted a few people in Scotland but they confirmed that there is nothing organised there.
I think money from sale of topos to places like Kirriemuir is used for bolting funds in the NE for Arbroath, Rob's Reed and the quarries. Neil Shepherd takes donations through here http://www.freewebs.com/arbroathclimbing/
Keith Morgan18 Dec 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
An excellent, well written article.
Would just like to add my comments to a couple of points raised here.
Firstly the comments regarding top roping and it's potential for accelarating the rate at which lower offs wear out.
Well I would say that is a fair point and is particularly relevant where "P hangar" lower offs are concerned.
As has been pointed out above, a reasonable solution is to link lower off points together with maillons and chains to bring them to a single point lowering ring. This tends to even up the wear as the rings rotate and the wear point gets more evenly distributed.
However even this will still need replacing over time if top roping is excessive (or the route is just very popular).
Obviously all lowering off causes wear to some extent and probably the only way to keep wear to an absolute minimum is to only use the lowering point for the final lower off (ie; for the first person up to attach their own sling and krabs to the lower off fixings for everyone else to use for lowering off and then only use the lower off itself for clearing the route after the last persons ascent).
NB: and if you want to be really pedantic then even when climbing as a pair the first person should lower off a sling and krab and only the second person should use the lowering point (and yes I know none of us probably ever do this in practice, including me, but it's just a thought!!)
The second point here is the one regarding fund raising.
Again as has been pointed out above, many people are only to keen to pay something to help out and the main key to this (IMHO) is to make that as easy to do wherever possible.
It is also worth noting that in my experience people will often voluntarily make donations and both Dave Musgrove and myself (as well as others) can recount personal experiences of being given cash donations to the YBF by grateful climbers at various crags, particularly if they see you involved in gearing or re-equipping a route and therefore become aware of just what is involved in both terms of cost and time.
So many thanks to all those persons and to everyone who makes any contribution and lets do whatever we can to ensure that such monies ensure that any fixed equipment remains safe and reliable over the years, wherever bolts and lower offs are acceptable and in use.
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Elsewhere on the site
Spotlight New Clothing Autumn/Winter 2021
Fri Night Vid Troll Wall - An Unforgiving Climb up Europe's Highest Wall
This week's Friday Night Video follows Pete Whittaker and Mari Augusta Salvesen up the Troll Wall in the Romsdalen valley, Norway. The wall is the tallest vertical rock face in Europe but the danger of the wall doesn't...
In Focus Culm Dancing - The Guidebook and a Personal History
Product News 'Funniest climber' tours new Mind Your Head theatre show